Fitness Corner: Starting a fitness program

As a trainer, I take exercise very seriously. As a business owner, I put a great deal of energy and effort into providing professional and valuable services to my clients. As a woman who considers her body her temple, I make it a priority to keep myself healthy. So, would you believe that fitness became…

Military Wire: America’s political turmoil linked to fewer veterans in office?

Jennifer Hickey could be on to something. The political analyst and Fox News contributor recently penned an article “Where are the veterans in office? Path from combat to Congress fading” that highlighted how rare it is to find a veteran serving in a political office — whether it be local, statewide or national. Could it…

Recommended Reads: Restaurant critic dishes on her life in disguise

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl I met Ruth Reichl when she generously donated her time at the Seattle Public Library System’s Literary Lions fundraiser Gala as Keynote speaker, and she also met guests and signed her books for them. I can tell you, her books were…

Playtime: Local gyms launch food drive for homeless kids

Since I first covered an effort to help homeless students in the Edmonds School District, the number of students has doubled. In 2013, the district’s liaison to the homeless told me there were close to 250 children in the school district who were without permanent housing. I just spoke with Deborah Anderson, Executive Director of…

Military Wire: VA wait times falsified while veteran suicides climb

USA Today reported recently that “Employees at 40 VA medical facilities in 19 states and Puerto Rico regularly ‘zeroed out’ veteran wait times.” The manipulation of the data masked the growing demand on services, preventing a response to increase services where needed. As a result, some veterans simply died waiting on services because of a…

Playtime: Easy, economical ideas for Mother’s Day

We’re just about two weeks away from Mother’s Day. After I gathered a bunch of fun, local, reasonably priced — if not free — events for Mother’s Day weekend, I went back and forth on how to tie all the info together. We’re already knee deep in jewelry commercials and pretty soon we’re going to…

Ask the Vet: Mushrooms that are poisonous to pets

We received this comment Sunday from a reader, and passed it along to our Ask the Vet columnist Dr. David Gross: Michael Richardson notes: “Poisonous mushrooms are starting to come out. My pup ate one and was in a coma for about 8 hours. The species is Amanita Pantherina and now I’ve seen it in…

Playtime: Valuing the ‘Village’ of women friends

Yesterday, a friend of mine came over to my house at 8:30 a.m. to drop off a pair of her child’s underwear for my child to try on. That is a thing that happened, a thing that was not only extremely helpful, but also one in a long string of things your pre-kid self would…

An inside look at the voter’s experience — Part 3

This is the final piece in a series of three parts by Mountlake Terrace resident Michelle L. Hankes on her experiences as a voter throughout the years and becoming more engaged in politics. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here. I have spent the past week being rallied, pepped up, and ready for change. So,…

An inside look at the voter’s experience – Part 2

This is the second piece in a series of three parts by Mountlake Terrace resident Michelle L. Hankes on her experiences as a voter throughout the years and becoming more engaged in politics. Read Part 1 here. The next part will be published Friday. From the first part of this insider’s look, you will remember that…

An inside look at the voter’s experience – Part 1

This is the first piece in a series of three parts by Mountlake Terrace resident Michelle L. Hankes on her experiences as a voter throughout the years and becoming more engaged in politics. The next part will be published Thursday. The year was 1994 and I had recently turned 18. I stood in line, my…

Healthy Eating: Celebrating a legacy of food in moderation

My 86-year-old mother, Edith Binder, has been in the throes of Alzheimer’s for the past three years. She passed away peacefully two weeks ago. Although it’s hard to lose my last parent, it is a relief that she is free to dance with my father and brother now. She was a shadow of herself at…

Recommend Reads: ‘Dark Nantucket Noon’ an intriguing, cozy mystery

Dark Nantucket Noon, by Jane Langton Katherine, or Kitty as everyone calls her, returns to the island of Nantucket especially to view a spectacular, noon eclipse of the sun. She flies from her Boston home, time away from teaching, to experience nature’s show in the only place where the entire total eclipse will be visible….

Recommended Reads: Enjoy a Roman holiday with ‘Coins in the Fountain’

Coins in the Fountain: A Memoir of Rome, by Judith Works You’re invited on a Roman holiday. You’ll linger over each page of this book, savoring the full-flavored descriptions of all that is seen, heard, tasted, and felt. Just like all holidays, you won’t want this book to end. Judith is an adventuresome American who…

Military Wire: VA suicide hotline — please leave a message

More than 22 veterans commit suicide a day. The Department of Veteran Affair’s crisis hotline – the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary– received more than 450,000 calls in 2014, a 40 percent increase over the previous year. According to the VA’s own office of inspector general, one in six calls are redirected to backup centers…

Recommended Reads: Bicycle memoir an exciting ride across America

Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America, by Brian Benson This memoir will take you on an exciting ride from small town Wisconsin to Portland, Ore. Brian is a young man with lots of energy and little direction. In a small Mexican town, adventuring Brian met Rachel. They shared a love of music, and a…

Playtime: Mother of teen who died too soon now working to save others

Many of my columns focus on what to do with the kids nearby. Lately, with the abundance of ways to help those around us, and in this case ourselves as well, community issues have been at the forefront. If you haven’t already heard about Matthew Truax, he was a 16-year-old Meadowdale High School student who…

Fitness Corner: Avoiding (mostly) the Fitness Cliff

I don’t know about you, but I’m smack in the middle of the winter doldrums. It’s cold and wet outside, the sun is still setting too early, and it is just a slog to get out and exercise. I do it, but there is a little voice in my head that is beginning to sound…

Playtime: Sobering statistics about homeless kids, and how you can help

In 2013, after hearing a story about homeless children in the Edmonds School District, a local mom started a grassroots effort to get snacks for those children that has since snowballed into so much more. Born from that initial effort, and the local support behind it, Washington Kids in Transition is now a full fledged,…

From the Vet: Human prescriptions – the most common pet poison

According to the records of the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) of the ASPCA. for the seventh year in a row human prescription medications top the list of potential toxins most commonly ingested by pets. The APCC handled more than 167,000 cases in 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are currently available, and…

Playtime: Fresh ideas for overscheduled families

Recently, in our house, it became obvious that our schedule was way too much. “Way too much” feels like an understatement. I got to the point where I wasn’t sure I was having conversations with the kids that didn’t involve telling them to hurry up and finish whatever it was they were doing to head…

Fitness Corner: Reflections on loss

I questioned myself as to whether I ought to write yet more about this topic, for a column titled “Fitness Corner.” After two years, people might be wondering, is she ever going to get over it? But really, the answer is no. It just doesn’t work like that. I have adapted, changed, grown, learned to…

Military Wire: Is Wounded Warrior Project worthy of your donations?

During the past right years or so, I have often been pulled aside and asked my thoughts on WWP — otherwise known as The Wounded Warrior Project. Their mission is sound, “To honor and empower wounded warriors.” BUT their motives have led some to believe they are less then honorable. Did the organization that started…